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Journey to Planet Earth
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Plan B: Mobilizing to Save CivilizationState of the Planet's OceansState of the Ocean's AnimalsState of the Planet's WildlifeState of the PlanetFuture ConditionalHot ZonesSeas of GrassOn the BrinkLand of Plenty, Land of WantUrban ExplosionRivers of Destiny
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Coastal Ecosystems

Overexploitation, use of destructive fishing practices, human development and pollution within coastal areas have degraded and destroyed coastal habitat and caused losses in nearshore biodiversity and fish stock biomass, resulting in a decreased human quality of life.

  • Forty percent of the world's population lives with 100 kilometers of a coastline, an area that accounts for only about 20 percent of the land mass.
  • Population increase and conversion for development, agriculture, and aquaculture are reducing mangroves, coastal wetlands, seagrass areas, and coral reefs at an alarming rate.
  • Fish and shellfish provide about a sixth of the animal protein consumed by people worldwide. A billion people, mostly in developing countries, depend on fish for their prime source of protein.

  • Coastal ecosystems have already lost much of their capacity to produce fish because of overfishing, destructive trawling techniques, and destruction of nursery habitats.

  • Rising pollution levels are associated with increasing use of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers.

Source: World Resources 2000-2001

In Rivers Of Destiny, journey to four major river systems of the world to investigate environmental problems facing those whose lives depend upon the health of their river. Read the full description of this program or watch a video clip.

In Hot Zones, see how the increased spread of infectious diseases has altered global and local ecosystems. Read the full description of this program or watch a video clip.

In On the Brink, examine how severe environmental problems can lead to political crises and increased hostilities around the world. Read the full description of this program or watch a video clip.

In Future Conditional, investigate the link between environmental change and the future health of our planet, a future conditional on how we cope with the spread of toxic pollution. Read the full description of this program or watch the video clip.

Read Stories of Hope from the Journey to Planet Earth series focusing on coastal ecosystems:



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Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization | State of the Planet's Oceans | State of the Ocean's Animals
State of the Planet's Wildlife | The State of the Planet | Future Conditional | On the Brink | Hot Zones
Seas of Grass | Land of Plenty, Land of Want | Urban Explosion | Rivers of Destiny

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